Legend has it that on December 4, 1877, Thomas Edison was the first person to record and play back the human voice. Maybe not.
The Video Interchange site notes that "a possibility exists that Edison himself, in fact, might not have been the very first person to have recorded and played back the human voice. This was most likely made by his two key assistants: Charles Batchelor, his chief assistant, and John Kruesi, his head machinist."
You can see Edison's machine on the Video Interchange Web site. And while you're there, check out a few of the fascinating but obscure audio formats on display.
Video Interchange offers transfer services for a vast range of ancient and recent audio formats. For example, Video Interchange can transfer 78 rpm records to CD.